To call him handsome was a misnomer; he was pretty. A delicate face, a somewhat chiseled chin, warm brown eyes, always clean shaven and looking slightly younger than his twenty-something years. He had the grace of an old time actor. Cary Grant in leather pants.
The room was large, low ceilinged, all black and red in some budget approximation of chinoiserie. Black lacquered chairs and overstuffed embroidered couches. Gold dragons on the walls and paper lantern hanging from the ceiling.
The crowd was riding the line between a kink party and sex party. As I walked around and eyed the pretty boy it struck me that we’d all become disconnected from the vanilla world. As I watched friends kiss and play kinky games and fuck out in the open, I thought how normal it all seemed to me and how shocking it might be to someone else.
Continue reading The Boy
Somewhere in between dreams I heard the shower start.
Opening my eyes some time later I found myself bathed in gray light coming through white linen curtains. Then I watched the naked legs of a woman in a towel walking back and forth in front of me as I laid on my side trying to decide whether I was awake or not. Occasionally those legs were followed by a nervous black cat who batted at the towel.
There were the distant smells of soap, shampoo, perfume, and all those sweet feminine scents I associated with her.
For a few moments sleep took me again, like an undertow dragging me into the waves.
Seconds or minutes or hours later I awoke with a start and sensed her near. She was far less nervous than the cat. Continue reading Wake Up
She came to me during the Transit of Venus.
The world was blue gray at dusk. I went to the beach to dry out, to forget, to find some peace.
I’d been a reporter when the war started. Which war? One of them; they weren’t numbered anymore. Some reaction to some act of horror and we sent a thousand boys to a desert somewhere. It wasn’t important anymore.
I was working for the AP, I’d traveled to Kuwait first, then Kutar. During one of the endless rides across the barren plains the world exploded into fire. I saw three kids melt in front of me. Three others were torn apart. I only lost my arm.
A few years later my parents died and left me enough money that I didn’t have to try and act whole enough to fit in with other reporters. I didn’t have to sit on planes and watch as the people next to me tried not to stare at my hook or my plastic hand.
I sold their houses and their cars and their stocks and even my father’s damn horses. I bought a place by the beach. I found solace in the sea. I found comfort in the silence. I found peace under the stars.
Continue reading Transit of Venus
I shook my head and smiled again.
She bit her bottom lip, but under the circumstances, her demeanor actually changed very little.
Ana was a tough nut to crack. We’d met through this or that, the ways people uptown meet. She was bright, book smart, art smart, fit, and fashionable. Pretty and self conscious; a puzzle of desire and nervousness. We’d fallen into both flirting and friendship at the same time and there had been a long lull as we tried to figure out which one to pursue. In the end we picked a little from “column A” and a little from “column B.” Luckily, I’d set up my life to facilitate that sort of answer to that sort of question.
A week or so before our date, our conversation via email had turned to sex toys. I mentioned that I had reviewed them for a while and she skirted around the issue of needing some new ones. These were lovely little charged correspondences that made my days at work fly by. Passive flirtation; we weren’t talking about sex, we were talking about sex toys! As safe as talking about stereo equipment. Like so many things, there were layers of self defense and acknowledging self defense. Continue reading Buzz
The girls were sat on a blanket, back to back; naked, save their panties. The black blanket was laid neatly on the somewhat dusty hardwood floor. I knelt in front of Margot and Hector knelt in front of Betty. The rope was around both of their pretty necks. Looped and looped around and around. Their hands tied at their sides, their backs held straight out of either eagerness to please or suspense at what might happen next.
Continue reading Choke
The whine was a little girl noise: a pouting, stubborn groan of frustration. I heard it when I opened the door and let the light from the hall break the spell of darkness in her room.
On the pink bed, the girl was covered in blankets, pillows, comforters, even stuffed animals. She sniffled somewhere under there and in a voice that sounded much more adolescent than what a college student should sound like, she whined, “go away.”
I had to laugh. I left the door open a little, enough to see at least. I crept over to the bed, looking around at the bowl of half eaten soup and cups of tea.
I took off my pants as she pulled the blanket down enough to watch me with furled eyebrows and pursed frowning lips. I took my shirt off next and placed it with my pants on the chair next to her bed. Continue reading Sick Girl
We saw movies. That’s what we did. We saw movies and went to museums.
I met Elise when she briefly worked in my office. She was one of those girls who grew up rich, but Upper West Side rich, not Upper East Side rich. The difference was super-preppy private schools versus super-intellectual immersive savant schools. She went to the latter and left with a rich inner life and a love of art and music and books that most people had never heard of. That, and the inability to really connect with most anyone.
There were the phobias; elevators, undercooked meat, docks, public speaking, crowded spaces, dark alleys, Antarctica, gum. Her worst fear was that she would swallow a piece of chewing gum. She told me she thought about it constantly, though it didn’t stop her from constantly chewing the most sugary, garish pink stuff she could find.
Then there was the OCD and the ADD and the cocktail of pharmacology. She was not trapped within the rigors of counting things and washing hands, but there were little things, more than quirks but less than crippling. There were also the daddy issues because he was like God to her, and the mommy issues because her mother told her she was fat when she was 12. There was a lot going on in this girl’s head.
Continue reading Theses
The thing was, she was young. Very young. Certainly legal, but still, I really should have been ashamed of myself. I was a thirty-two year old man! It started out so simply though. She sent me a picture because I wrote something silly like, if a picture is worth a thousand words than a thousand words must be worth a picture.
Continue reading The Secret I Couldn’t Keep
Truth be told, Elise didn’t even really like him. That’s not to say she wasn’t already wet when she got off at his subway stop and climbed the familiar stairs into the lingering evening sun. She hadn’t been to his apartment in weeks. She hadn’t walked through the dirty streets of his neighborhood, next to the big school with the high metal fence and the little stores with the weird religious candles and the exotic smells.
All right, maybe she liked him in some weird way. He could be a good friend, in his own fashion, if he wanted to, but he was so very full of himself sometimes, so very Mark. They had dated for a while around two years ago, and maybe they were even in love for a couple of minutes, but Mark was an ass and that all disintegrated quickly. He was a much better fuck than he ever was a boyfriend.
Continue reading Ménage à Text
She seemed like a little mouse. That’s how I thought of her, what I called her in my head. My little mouse. Oh, how I was wrong.
That’s the way it is being a man sometimes. You see a woman and she can’t look you in the eyes. She is sweet and pretty and her cheeks go red when you joke with her and you think you know her. You imagine her small and innocent and you are tall and strong and can show her the world. In a way it is comforting. It makes you powerful. All the secrets of desire are yours to show her.
Real life is far more complex, and far more interesting.
Continue reading Following a Mouse